London Mayor to lead offsite construction boom

Grant Prior 7 years ago
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London Mayor Sadiq Khan is being urged to promote an offsite construction boom in a bid to solve the capital’s housing crisis.

A London Assembly report out today calls on Khan to use his planning powers to encourage more modular housing.

It also wants to see a standard design code for offsite manufacturing (OSM), designating public land and speeding up planning in a bid to help solve the housing crisis.

Prefab homes have shrugged off their seventies image and are now seen as the perfect solution to the capital’s need to speed up construction.

Report Author Nicky Gavronr said: “Meeting London’s housebuilding target is a huge task and traditional construction techniques will only take us so far.

“Offsite Manufactured Housing is an innovative, forward-looking and exciting way to close the gap.

“These buildings are high quality and outstanding in terms of performance.

“Their construction is more environmentally-friendly than traditional construction methods and they are a far cry from their prefabricated predecessors.

“Few will disagree that using vacant public land to build homes quickly and with less pollution and disruption could be great news for London, tailored to demands at every price point.

“The lack of a single design standard or mass market demand has held back the sector’s growth.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity to work collaboratively with investors, developers and policy makers at a time where experts, central and local government are all calling for the same thing to happen.”

Mark Farmer, chief executive of Cast Consultancy and author of last year’s Farmer Review, said: “This timely report sends an unequivocal message to the Mayor of London that now is the time to show strong political leadership to establish a mainstream precision manufactured housing market in the capital.

“It could underpin ambitions not just for housing, but for wider economic growth.

“There is also a great opportunity for the Mayor to align with national policy and the growing cross party consensus on the role of offsite manufacturing as well as tying this into his separate ‘Skills for Londoners’ manifesto commitment and the Construction Academy Scheme initiative.

“Future skills in construction may look very different to what we currently see on a building site, and we should be planning ahead for this in London right now.

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